Our Family

Our Family

Thursday, May 28, 2015

It's Because They Were Homeschooled........

I don't kow about you, but I get tired of reading/hearing that.  Every time something happens that is considered "big" news to someone in the homeschool community, it gets blamed on the fact that they were homeschooled.  Even in smaller areas or communities among less public figures when something happens within a homeschool family it automatically gets blamed on homeschooling.

There is one really big problem with that.

" For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."

For some reason some people assume that homeschoolers should be perfect.  That would be nice but it just isn't true.  Homeschoolers just like everyone else live in a fallen world.  There is no exception written in saying "For all but homeschoolers have sinned." Homeschoolers deal with issues just like those that go to public school or private school.

On the flip side of expecting them to be perfect, the fact that they are homeschooled is blamed every time these imperfections come to light.  I have actual;y heard from people that you shouldn't homeschool your kids because so and so in the media did this crime and that child was homeschooled, or this child got pregnant at a young age and she was homeschooled, or this child rebelled against her parents and left home and she was homeschooled.

And then we have the parent issue.  There have been very sad cases of abuse and neglect that have been publicized in the media as the parents were homeschoolers. Does this happen? Yes.  Does it happen in every homeschool? NO.  Is is because they homeschool that they were abusers?  NO.

The majority (because we do know there are some who don't) of parents try very hard every single day to do what is best for their children, whether you choose to homeschool, go to private school, or public school, you make those decisions because it is what you think is best. We are working every day to raise our children to be responsible adults who will, "Love the Lord with all their heart, mind, soul, and strength." Along the way they, just like us, will sin.  When they (just like us) do, we pray that they will repent and ask for forgiveness and change their ways (just as we should.)   Sometimes they won't.  Sometimes you will do everything you can to "train up your child in the way they should go" and they will choose to go another way.  It is sad and heartbreaking to the parent and all you can do is pray.

Blaming homeschooling does no good to anyone.  It is not homeschooling that causes sin. It did not happen "because they were homeschooled."

"....In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart! I have overcome the world."

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Review: Spring Brides

Book Description 

 "Happily ever after begins today. The honor of your presence is requested at three spring weddings .

A March Bride by Rachel Hauck Susanna Truitt (Once Upon a Prince) is three weeks from royalty. She'll soon marry King Nathaniel II of Brighton Kingdom. But when the government insists she renounce her American citizenship before the wedding, coupled with the lack of involvement by family and friends, Susanna's heart begins to doubt whether this marriage is God's plan for her.

 An April Bride by Lenora Worth Bride-to-be Stella Carson cannot wait another day to marry soldier Marshall Henderson. But when Marshall returns home to Louisiana, it becomes clear to them both that he is not the man he used to be. With only weeks until the wedding, Stella and Marshall must choose between a marriage built on the past and faith in long-ago love or a very different future than the one Stella imagined.

 A May Bride by Meg Moseley Ellie Martin, a country girl living in Atlanta, has dreamed of a traditional wedding all her life, but she's missing a key ingredient to her plans for the future: a groom. Then Ellie meets Gray Whitby-at a wedding of all places. But when Ellie jeopardizes her own future for the sake of her sister, Gray feels like he'll always be second to Ellie's family. Can Ellie and Gray find their own way together amidst the demands and perceptions of others, or will their romance end before it has truly begun?"

I admit that the main reason that I wanted to review this book was because I wanted to read A March Bride.  I have loved everything I have read by Rachel Hauck and since I had read the other books in The Royal Wedding Series, I just had to read about Nathaniel and Susanna's wedding.  It did not disappoint.  It was everything I had hoped for and more!

The other two wedding novellas were like bonus books to me.  I enjoyed Stella and Marshall's story and how the author reconciled their situation.  I did not love A May Bride.  I found the whole guerrilla wedding thing odd, and I did not like how the author portrayed Ellie's mother.  I think it was an attempt at writing a wedding story so that it would be original.  I can honestly say that I have never read another one like it before.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book for the purpose of writing a fair and honest review.  I received no other compensation and all opinions are my own.  I am disclosing this in accordance to FTC regulations.

Homeschool Wrap Up Week 35

In case you are wondering how long our school year lasts, we usually wrap up the regular school year at the end of May, and then work only on reading, math, and any product reviews I need to do in the summer.  But, I started Lily on My Father's World a little later than everyone else and we still have a few weeks left to go on that.  Plus we have several reviews we are still working on, so we will be counting down our homeschool year for a few weeks more!

Week 35 in Our Homeschool

Bible: We finished Lesson 7 of our Moses study from Real Life Press.  This week we discussed the 10 commandments.  One of the things I like the most about this study is that has real life applications not just studying Scripture and answering questions about it.  Many topics that we have covered in this study we have been able to relate to recent things that have gone on in our family.  We also are continuing reading One Great Purpose and will finish that up next week.

History: In history we completed Lesson 6 in Famous Men of Rome from Memoria Press.

Science: We are still working on our Weather on the Move study.  This week we learned about clouds.  Our read aloud is still The Long Winter.  There is one week left in this study and it is on severe weather.  We are supposed to be reading The Wizard of Oz, but since we are not even half way through The Long Winter, we are just going to watch the movie on movie night.

We also watched some documentaries on Animal Babies from Smart Kidz Media. (upcoming review)

And our Praying Mantises hatched.  The egg case has been sitting in the habitat for several weeks.  The instructions said it could take 4-10 weeks to hatch.  I had checked it at lunchtime and nothing was hatching.  At supper time Alex discovered that not only had they hatched, but several had escaped from the habitat and were all over my living room wall, mantle, and picture frames!  We took the habitat outside and discovered a hole in the bottom of it that seems to be a factory defect.  We left the habitat outside,and took care of all the insects inside.  The next day we set all but 4 of the mantises free.  We were going to try and watch them grow if they didn't escape from the habitat but either the dog or the cats got hold of it and destroyed it.  Probably my worst hands on science project ever!  I sent an email to the company about the defective habitat and still have not heard back.

Art/Music: Alex is working on lesson 4 of Drums With Willie.

Grammar/Literature/Writing: We completed Lesson 3 of Fix it Grammar 1 and 2.  Anthony wrote his paragraph on Desert Tarantulas for SWI A.  Nick is still working through the Intro lessons of Dynamic Literacy.  Christian, Anthony, and I have one more chapter of The Wheel on the School to finish up!

Reading/Spelling: Christian and Anthony finished up Lesson 20 of All About Reading Level 2.  Alex completed step 4 of AAS Level 5.

Math: Christian, Anthony, and Alex are all using CTC Math.  They are working on one lesson per day for their grade level.

My Father's World Creation From A to Z:

This week we complete the unit on Frogs.  The theme of our Bible lesson was "I use my tongue wisely."  Lily completed all of the assigned worksheets for the unit and we read some books about frogs and their life cycles.  She also did a life cycle of a frog craft, and they caught some tadpoles out of the mud puddle.

Other Activities This Week:

Monday: We had a homeschool picnic to celebrate spring and/or the end of the school year.  It was supposed to be at the City Park but because of tornado clean up and issues still in town it was moved to a friend's house.  Not many people were able to attend but those that did had a great time!!

On the way home we had a field trip to a green house and got our plants for our garden.

Tuesday: Stay home day!

Wednesday: Emmie, Lily, and I went grocery shopping and ran some errands.

Thursday: We had archery practice.  Lily shot a bow!  But she says she doesn't want to do it again.  After that we had a 4 H meeting.

Friday: We did some house cleaning on Friday, then had pizza and a movie Friday night.

Saturday: We got the garden planted!  Once we were finished I went to Sonic and got milkshakes for all the hard workers.

I hope you had a great week in your homeschool!

Friday, May 22, 2015

May Nature Seekers 4 H Meeting

Yesterday was our May Nature Seekers 4 H meeting.  I had wanted to do something in the area of animal science and some club members have a hobby farm, so they gave us a tour of their farm.

While we were there we talked a lot about the different types of farms and the purpose of farming.

Then we started the tour.  First we saw parts of the garden.

Then we saw the chickens and the cow.

Next we learned about sheep.

And last we learned about horses and had an opportunity to ride one!

The tour took about an hour and afterwards the children had a snack of ice cream cones and animal crackers.

Instead of a hands on activity, I gave each of the kids 2 books on different farm animals that I had bought from Oriental Trading.

It was a great meeting!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Schoolhouse Crew Review: FishFlix.com

FishFlix.com Review
FishFlix.com carries Christian movies and TV programs to inspire, educate, and entertain.  On their site is a wide variety of faith based movies to watch and enjoy with your family, use as a Bible study, or for use in your homeschool. As a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew, I was recently given an opportunity to watch and review Torchlighters: The John Wesley Story.
FishFlix.com Review
The Torchlighters series highlights men, women, and children who respond to God's call and dedicate their lives to serving Jesus Christ. This animated series was designed with children ages 8-12 in mind, but it can be watched and enjoyed by children who are a little younger or older.  When children have an opportunity to see what God can do through a "Torchlighter" they may also want to carry a torch of faith by serving Him.

The John Wesley story begins when John is miraculously saved from a fire.  His mother believes that God spared him for a special purpose and called him, "a brand plucked from the burning."  Wesley tries to live out that purpose by proving himself worthy by doing good works and using his own strength, but it brings him continuous frustration and failure.  He never felt like he could do enough to earn God's favor.  He sets off for America to teach the colonists and native Americans about Christianity but returns to England a "dismal failure" with not one convert. Upon returning to England he discovers his changed brother Charles who tells him he is saved.  That knowing the Scripture wasn't enough without knowing the savior and that you cannot earn your way to heaven.  John realizes his is a sinner saved by Grace and wants to share this message with as many people as he can.  His message his not welcome in the established churches so he does something unheard of and takes the message outside the churches to the needy and the outcast. 

The John Wesley Story is 30 minutes long and can be purchased for $9.99. FishFlix.com offers free shipping for orders over $35.

I watched The John Wesley Story with my 4,6,8,9,11, and 13 year olds.  I chose this DVD to review because we are members of a Methodist church and I thought it would be beneficial for the younger children especially to learn more about John Wesley as he is the founder of the Methodist movement. That is not to say that this DVD would only be good for Methodists.  The movie carries a wonderful message of men who spend their lives in service to Jesus Christ and press on with the work He gave them to do even though they are literally thrown out of the churches and even has his life threatened. It also carries a message of caring for the poor and needy and that God loves us all so much that he sent His only son to die on a cross to save us from our sins. I thought the DVD was a great length for the age group it was intended for and those a bit younger.  It does have a scene that is a bit intense when a mob comes after John Wesley but quite honestly compared to what is on TV today it is quite mild.  

I would definitely recommend Torchlighters: The John Wesley story.  I am interested in viewing some of the others in the Torchlighters series as well.

Members of The Crew also reviewed Exploring Ephesus, Privileged Species, Unbroken Legacy of Faith Edition, and Flight and Metamorphosis.  To see what my Crew Mates had to say, click on the banner below.
FishFlix.com Review

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Schoolhouse Crew Review: Homeschool Legacy

Homeschool Legacy Review
Homeschool Legacy has designed once a week unit studies to use in the homeschool with a wide variety of ages.  In addition to the ability to use them with the whole family, Boy Scouts and American Heritage Girls can earn merit badge requirements while completing the assigned activities. Homeschool Legacy's studies are also biblically centered. We recently had an opportunity to use and review Weather on the Move
Homeschool Legacy Review
Weather on the Move is a 7 week unit study for children in grades 2-12.  The study is designed to be used one day per week with individual reading and family read alouds completed daily.  Suggested field trips are included in the study and it is recommended that those be taken on an light school day, such as a Friday afternoon.  A suggested schedule is included within the unit study.

Inside the study you will find for each week:

  • A large reading selection for non readers, those who are able to read on their own, and suggested family read alouds complete with the Dewey Decimal System numbers.
  • video suggestions
  • weekly supply list
  • family devotional
  • science/history activity
  • vocabulary/language
  • student work pages
  • stump your dad trivia
  • science experiments
  • arts and crafts 

Plus family night and field trip suggestions.

Some of the topics covered in Weather on the Move include:

  • Meteorology
  • The Sun
  • The Atmosphere
  • The Water Cycle
  • Frozen Precipitation
  • Clouds
  • Extreme Weather

Weather on the Move is available as a digital download for $17 or as a physical product for $21.95.

I have been using Weather on the Move with my 8,9,10, and 12 year olds.  Since they are designed to be used once a week we have been working on the study every Thursday, completing the family read louds and reading other weather related books aloud daily.  One of the first read aloud suggestion was Swiss Family Robinson, I had read that aloud to my older children, but not to my younger children and they loved it.  We were off to a good start with the read loud suggestions!

My children love hands on activities and we have had an opportunity to do several with this study. We made a terrarium, a barometer, did a hot air rises experiment, made a simple weather vane, made a cloud, made it rain, and made a cloud identification guide.
Making Terrariums

Making a barometer and conducting a heat rises experiment.

One of the field trip suggestions was to visit a local green house.  While we were there we picked up some plants for our garden.

I really liked the included family devotionals as well and the language/vocabulary activities.  We read through some poetry, learned about weather idioms, researched frozen precipitation, and weather and climate. My children really liked the stump your dad trivia.  Do you know how many water droplets it takes to form one drop of rain?

There is not a lot of advance preparation, but you do need to look at what you will be covering that week and gather the needed book, videos, and experiment supplies.  Some of the items needed for the activities are general around the house items, but some are more specific.  Some activities we chose not to do because we had done them before and some we didn't do because I didn't have the necessary supplies. You do not have to read every book, watch every video, or do every activity.  There are a lot to choose from! You can pick and choose and even find some others that were not included on the list.  We have a very small library here and did not have access to hardly any of the books on the list.  That was a bit challenging, but I gathered as many weather related books as I could find and tried to read from the topic we were working on that week. There is very little text included within the study you have to do the reading and research using the many listed resources or others that you find.

Members of The Crew were reviewing several different unit studies from Homeschool Legacy.  To see what my Crew Mates had to say, click on the banner below.
Homeschool Legacy Review